S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Monteiro, Major Joachim John (natural history)

Born: 1833, London, England.
Died: February 1878, Maputo, Mozambique.

Joachim John Monteiro (also known as Jos? Maria Correa Monteiro) was a Portuguese colonial official and naturalist. However, he was born in London and trained as a mining engineer at the Royal School of Mines in that city. His wife, Rose Monteiro*, shared his interests in natural history. In 1858 he went to Angola, where he appears to have spent most of his time during the next 18 years. There he collected natural history specimens and distinguished himself through his remarkable observations on animal life, published in his book Angola and the River Congo (London, 1875, 2 vols). Monteiro's Hornbill, Tockus monteiri, was named after him in 1865.

In 1876 he and his wife settled in Lourenco Marques (now Maputo, Mozambique), where he served as labour agent and emigration agent to the government of the Cape Colony from July that year until his untimely death two years later. He continued his animal observations and, with Rose, collected plants in the neighbourhood of the town, sending herbarium specimens to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, near London. He was a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, and on 31 October 1877 was elected a corresponding member of the newly founded South African Philosophical Society. The society deplored his death and lauded his work at its annual general meeting on 26 July 1878.

List of sources:
Clinning, C. Southern African bird names explained. Johannesburg: South African Ornithological Society, 1989.

Harries, P. Field sciences in scientific fields: entomology, botany and the early ethnographic monograph in the work of H.A. Junod. In S. Dubow (ed.), Science and society in southern Africa (pp. 11-41). Manchester University Press, 2000.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). . Documents relating to Monteiro, J.J.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Rosenthal, E. Southern African dictionary of national biography. London: F. Warne, 1966.

South African Philosophical Society. Transactions, 1877-1879, Vol. 1, Proceedings..., pp. iv, ix.

Compiled by: C. Plug